I’ve mentioned my quest for gluten-free Polish recipes, and although this isn’t Polish, it’s Ukrainian, so it celebrates vegetables from the same region, very broadly speaking. My neighborhood did not lose power during Hurricane Sandy, so last night for dinner (and again today for lunch), my family enjoyed hearty bowls of borscht.
This part takes forever: scrub and peel about two pounds of beets. Then shred the beets. I think you can use a food processor for this, but I did it with one of those fancy Swiss peelers. It took forever, and the fingertips of my left hand are still stained red/brown, but I felt that it made my borscht more authentic.
Peel, then shred, two large onions. I didn’t have fresh onions, so I used one large head of fennel, and then added dried minced onions to the pot.
Put the shredded beets and onions (or fennel) into a large Dutch oven or stock pot and cover them with approximately four cups of water (or chicken or vegetable stock, if you have it). (Since I didn’t have stock, I added a bit of butter and all-purpose seasoning when I added the water.) Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat, put the lid on, and simmer the mixture for half an hour.
After 30 minutes of simmering, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and some salt and pepper (to taste); stir it all together and let it simmer another 10 minutes. Serve in bowls, topped with a dollop of sour cream (or whole-milk yogurt, which is what I used) and a dash of dried dill weed. Enjoy!